At the direction of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Wind Energy Technologies Office, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are jointly leading the U.S. Offshore Wind Synthesis of Environmental Effects Research (SEER) project, a multi-year collaborative effort designed to facilitate knowledge transfer for offshore wind environmental research around the world.
Through significant stakeholder outreach and engagement efforts, the SEER team identified a set of research topics pertinent to offshore wind development on the U.S. Atlantic and Pacific Coasts. The SEER team is now developing a corresponding set of educational research briefs that synthesize key issues, identify existing knowledge gaps, and prioritize future research needs.
As part of this effort, the SEER team hosted a series of free, public webinars that presented findings from the briefs and featured panel discussions with subject matter experts, followed by question-and-answer periods. The second webinar will cover topics related to: Introduction of New Offshore Wind Farm Structures: Effects on Fish Ecology and Benthic Disturbance from Foundations, Anchors, and Cable.
During the Introduction of New Offshore Wind Farm Structures: Effects on Fish Ecology session, Dr. Rebecca Green (NREL) summarized the potential effects on fish ecology of introducing new structures into the marine environment during offshore wind farm development. International and U.S. offshore wind research related to the effects on habitat, colonization of introduced substrates, trophic web structure and functioning, and artificial reef effects were discussed. Dr. Drew Carey (INSPIRE Environmental) and Dr. Steven Degraer (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences) participated in the event as subject matter experts during the panel discussion.
During the Benthic Disturbance from Foundations, Anchors, and Cable session, Mark Severy (PNNL) summarized the potential disturbance to benthic ecosystems from fixed-bottom installations in shallow waters and floating offshore wind farms in deep waters. Stresses from pile driving, scour, cable installation, and anchoring were discussed. Dr. Monique LaFrance Bartley (U.S. National Park Service) and Dr. Jan Vanaverbeke (Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences) participated in the event as subject matter experts during the panel discussion.
The webinar recording is available below: